Florida domestic violence is a serious offense that can result in one year in jail. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to avoid jail with the help of a Florida domestic violence attorney.
Domestic Violence First-Time Offenders – How to Avoid Jail Time?
Most Florida domestic violence charges are a misdemeanor offense of battery. Usually, these involve first-time offenders with no previous criminal record.
If you have been accused of this, you are probably extremely concerned about jail time and the consequences on your life.
Spending time in jail is life-changing in many ways. From the grim experience to the bad reputation.
So what can you do to avoid jail time?
Get the Case Dropped
The best way to get a domestic violence charge dropped is to get the victim on your side. Never try to get the alleged victim to ‘drop’ the charges yourself. This can be seen as witness tampering, which is a felony.
As a matter of course, we get the victim to sign a request not to prosecute. We then file the document with the prosecutor and the judge. While a request not to prosecute helps, it is not automatic that the charge gets dropped.
Another technique that we use is to have our client voluntarily get anger management treatment. The prosecutors and judges want to see at least 8 hours of this even if they plan on dropping the cosmetic violence charge.
A final defense to the case is always self defense or mutual combat. In almost every case, the alleged victim is also violent. In many cases, the victim actually started the problem. If we can successfully argue this issue, the chances are better that the case will be dismissed.
Prove the Allegations Are False
Another option is to fight back and prove the allegations are false. In some cases, the accusations are exaggerated or lies.
Our Florida domestic violence attorneys will work to determine whether there is enough legitimate evidence for you to be prosecuted, such as:
- Do 911 recordings support the allegations?
- Has the alleged victim made any contradictory statements?
- Did you make any statements?
- Did the alleged victim require or seek medical attention?
- Is there any evidence from doctors’ notes or statements?
- What does the police report say?
- Does the police report match the allegations and show evidence of injuries?
- Were you taking medication that could have impacted your behavior?
- Was the incident exaggerated?
- Was the behavior self-defense?
- Was the alleged victim intoxicated?
If you believe you did something wrong and the evidence is stacked against you, there are always steps you can take to get some leniency.
For example, you can volunteer to participate in counseling, anger management programs, alcohol support groups and other programs that show you do not need to serve jail time.
Our Florida domestic violence attorneys know which steps work and which don’t. We can analyze your case and take the appropriate steps for the best chance of avoiding jail time.
No Contact Orders
Another issue you might want to handle quickly is ‘No Contact’ orders.
Florida courts automatically issue ‘No Contact’ orders. These orders prevent alleged victims from interacting with the accused.
Some offenders may be able to file a ‘Motion to Modify Condition of Release’, which allows you and the alleged victim to meet again. In most circumstances, the judge will want you to complete some voluntary anger management first.
In Florida, the prosecutor for Florida domestic violence cases will offer a plea bargain deal. This is effectively where you admit your wrongdoing in exchange for a more lenient penalty.
With the help of a Florida domestic violence attorney, this could be a deal that avoids jail time. The penalties normally include probation and a 26-week batterers intervention course.
If you have no previous criminal record, you might also be offered entry into the domestic violence pre-trial intervention program (DVPTI). This is a guaranteed outcome that many of our clients wish to participate in.
Get the Best Criminal Defense Attorney
Being proactive and prepared are the best things you can do to avoid jail time for a Florida domestic violence charge.
Don’t take this on alone or waste time with amateur, cheap, and inexperienced lawyers. Your freedom and your criminal record is not worth the risk.
Our Florida domestic violence lawyers are extremely successful and will provide you a strategy from day one.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney in Florida
If you’re facing Florida domestic violence charges and want to avoid jail time, speak to a Florida domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.
Regardless of whether you’re facing false allegations or simply made a mistake, having experienced lawyers on your side can save your future and help you avoid jail.
Sean McQuaid is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He has handled countless Florida domestic violence charges in his career. He is the president at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.
With decades of experience helping people like you, we believe there is no better place to help you fight a domestic violence charge in Florida and avoid jail time.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300